Purim Festivities Cancelled, Tel Aviv, 1943
This poster from March 21, 1943 is an announcement from the Municipality of Tel Aviv cancelling all Purim festivities after information about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising had reached Israel. The poster provides information about the Uprising and the number of Jews who were killed. According to the date of publication, it would seem that the news was received in Israel two months after the beginning of the Uprising, and the poster refers to only the early stage. However, it proves that the Jewish community in Israel was receiving information, albeit delayed, about the tragic events unfolding in Europe.
The Jewish uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto began after news of planned deportations to death camps reached the residents of the Ghetto. It took place in two main phases: the first on January 18, 1943 and the second and more significant phase from the eve of Passover, April 19 to May 16, 1943. This largest Jewish revolt of World War II resulted in the murder of 13,000 Jews.
This item could be used in lessons on Israeli History, when discussing the Yishuv and the Zionist movement during World War II. It could also be used to explore what the world (and the Jews) outside of Nazi-occupied Europe knew about the Holocaust and what their reaction was. The poster could also be used when studying the characteristics and uniqueness of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and could trigger a discussion about why this uprising became a symbol. Teachers of Jewish Studies and Hebrew could use this poster in lessons preceding either Purim or Holocaust Remembrance Day.
What is this poster?
Who published it? When did they publish it and why?
What can you learn about the Yishuv’s engagement with the Holocaust?
Do you know of other actions taken by Jews from the Yishuv during World War II?
How is the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising described in this poster?
What do you know about the stages of the Uprising, and can you identify any of the stages in this poster?
One of the main goals of the Uprising was to demonstrate Jewish dissent and to be remembered in history as heroes who fought for freedom and for the Jewish nation. Are these goals apparent in the poster? In what way?
Why is there a distinction made between places of entertainment, such as theatres and movie cinemas, and restaurants and cafes? Do you think this division is correct?
Do you think it is right to cancel festivals, such as Purim festivities, in response to difficult news?
Today in Israel, places of entertainment are barred from opening on Tisha B'Av as a reminder of the destruction of the Temple. Do you think this prohibition is appropriate? Why? In what ways is this different or similar to the decision of the Tel Aviv Municipality in 1943?
Tel Aviv Municipality
CANCELLATION OF PURIM FESTIVITIES
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
London – When the Germans were trying to liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw and empty Jewish houses of their inhabitants, they were met with fierce resistance from the Jews. Seventy Germans were killed in this struggle. The German army used a machine gun and a few hundred Jews were killed, amongst them, some of their leaders. After the revolt was suppressed, the Germans rounded up 6000 Jews and sent them to an unknown destination. Similar news has been received from the city of Radom.
As a result of this worrying news, the Municipality of Tel Aviv has decided this Purim, as a symbol of mourning and solidarity, to forbid and stop shows at all entertainment venues including theatres and cinemas (excluding restaurants and cafes).
Lest the sound of joy and mirth be heard in our city!
I. Rokach, mayor of Tel Aviv
21.3.1943 Adar Bet 14, 5703